10 September 2013
The Big Lottery Fund has issued new guidance for voluntary and community groups applying for funding for land and building projects via its 'Reaching Communities' programme.
An update from Dharmendra Kanani, England Director of the Big Lottery Fund about changes to the Reaching Communities grant programme.
"For Reaching Communities, I knew from my visits to projects and meeting with sector leaders that it is often seen as too complex, having a low success rate and a demand which far outstripped funds. Building on our learning from our first eight years of Reaching Communities, we will be making the programme more flexible and responsive to ensure the funding stream can meet everyone’s ambitions".
Changes to the application process:
The Big Lottery Fund wants groups to contact the advice line early, discuss their ideas and get guidance. Groups will need to add more detail to their first stage application.
Decisions will now be made every two weeks. Voluntary and community groups that apply for funding will find out quicker whether or not their first stage application has been successful.
Fewer applicants will be invited to submit Stage Two applications, but those that do will have a much greater chance of success.
Learning is a priority:
A greater premium will be placed on learning across all funding and this includes asking those applying to Reaching Communities to set out more clearly how and what learning and impact will take place throughout the life time of the funding.
Changes to what you can apply for:
No limits. The upper grant limit you can apply for has been removed creating flexibility to support larger projects. The deal is you call us and speak to Big Advice first if you intend to apply for more than £500,000 or have a buildings application.
The Big Advice Line can be contacted on 0845 4 10 20 30.
Importantly, BIG now offer feasibility funding of up to £10,000 through Awards for All. We are now supporting buildings projects with grants from £10,000 upwards and offering revenue funding to help new community building projects through the early stages.
Please read the new guidance notes before finding out how to apply.
Land and building projects:
There is additional guidance that you need to read before applying for a land or building project of up to £100,000 or over £100,000.
Full details of Dharmendra Kanai’s announcement can be accessed via the NCVO blog at